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 William Gage

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PostSubject: William Gage   Wed Sep 03, 2008 1:59 pm

It was February 2003, when William (Willie) Gage first contacted the offices of Miscarriages of Justice Organisation (M.O.J.O.) Scotland. Willie had been recalled on license, and was residing in HMP Barlinnie, and had been charged with the brutal murder of 33-year-old man in Cambuslang on the 7th March 2002. We remembered the case, how a man had been gunned down by a hit man outside his house. The gunmen shooting six times before fleeing into the dark. Willie had been picked up two months later on the 3rd of May 2002. The evidence connecting him to the crime came from a car found in Easterhouse, four miles away, an hour after the shooting, which turned out to have a jacket inside it with Willie’s D.N.A. on it.
I should mention it this point, Willie Gage was no angel, at the time of his arrest; he was out on license after serving three and a half years, of a seven-year stretch, for an armed robbery. We hear you all, we heard alarm bells, gunman, armed robbery, well you would. But we asked a few journos, who were only to happy sending over the newspaper articles of the armed robbery, see there not all bad. (We would just like to say that we don’t condone in any shape or form sticking a gun in some ones face), but when your looking for an assassin we expected something a bit more concrete than the man that sat in front of us. We began to question the hit man theory, when we read that William Gage had been the driver, it was his co accused who was the gunman. They attempted to rob a jewellers in Perth, with an imitation gun, no excuse, but hardly the cold-blooded killer, that was being portrayed.
See the story began to take an unusual spin, when along with the robbery articles of Willie’s past case, was background on the victim Justin McAlroy. Who had a colourful past? It was after reading newspaper cuttings about the victim, his father and the First Minister Jack McConnell, that we knew that this case was going to be a bit different.
We don’t want to go to deeply into Justin McAlroy’s past, we leave that to the press. We are only concerned with the very strong possibility of a miscarriage of justice, and it’s implications. But how could we ignore, when we read that only six days before his killing, Justin McAlroy was at a Labour party fundraising Red Rose dinner dance, at his father’s exclusive golf and country club, mingling with Jack McConnell, John Reid and Frank Roy. And that his father Thomas McAlroy had donated thousands of pounds to the Motherwell and Wishaw Labour party, as well as his construction company, Ailsa Builders, receiving millions of pound worth of North Lanarkshire council contracts. To top that, the father and son were under surveillance by the Scottish Drugs Enforcement Agency (D.E.A.) in Estonia where they were seen with Robert Wright and Les Brown. Brown and Wright are now waiting extradition to Estonia on a 2.4 million-pound heroin trafficking charge. Justin we know was still under investigation at the time of the shooting, but the surveillance had been taken off days earlier. Which was unfortunate, as four days before his death he had a visit by someone, who can’t be named, as he is charged with murder and a waiting trial. In court this witness stated how he visited Justin at his fathers Club the Sunday before his death, and was to “let him know that he was running out of time to pay the money up”. He owed this witness’s friend fifty thousand pounds.
When we first wrote to William Gage we had to explain, that technically, he wasn’t actually a miscarriage of justice, as he hadn’t had a trial. But what we heard didn’t sit right, and we assured him we would monitor his progress.
As in all of our cases, it’s the ingredients and quality of evidence, proof is in the pudding, and the taste is in the eating. So therefore, we had to wait until he went to court, and then we could all make our own minds up, and if Willie was telling the truth, or otherwise, it would soon come out in the wash.
Well as we started to hear his story, things began to smell wrong right away, he had been waiting over 330 days after his indictment. Had an excellent lawyer in John MacAuley, whom Paddy and myself visited. It turned out that the delay was due to the crown holding up evidence, in relation to CCTV footage and witness statements. Willie changed his counsel a month before Christmas 2003, the trial then began on the 28th January 2004, 690 days after his arrest, going well over the 110-day rulehttp://www.mojoscotland.com

Well the trial played up to everything that is wrong with our adversarial system, and we were both angered and bemused by how the crown got away with what we can only describe as a theatrical farce. Most of their evidence should never have been allowed in a court of law, as it was full of supposition and assumptions, very little evidence, none which would we could see tied Willie Gage to the locus of the crime. The only concrete evidence that the crown put forward came from the widow of the deceased, our hearts went out to her loss, but our heads couldn’t believe that what she said was allowed to be used in a court of law in the 21st century. She stated, 22 months after the brutal death of her husband, she saw a figure run from right to left, and as the person ran under the street light, he glanced back, she saw his eyes, “eyes of evil, she would never forget them”. When the Advocate Depute, unsurprisingly, asked if she could see these eyes in the court, she without any hesitation, picked out William Gage, and if she was in any doubt, he was sitting in a glass cage with two-uniformed policeman at either side.
We had to ask ourselves, did the learned Advocate Depute really believe that this poor distraught woman, could remember 22 months later, a shadowy figure who glanced back for a second, wearing a puffed jacket with a hood and scarf around his face? As Tracey McAlroy went on to describe his clothing, curiously she stated he was about 5’10”. We say curiously, because virtually all the other eyewitnesses that saw the figure leaving the locus stated the same height 5’ 10”ish. William Gage is 6’2”! Another two witnesses also went on to describe a puffed jacket fleeing the locus.
Now let us explain, you see the reason why Willie Gage has been pulled in for this crime, or one of the reasons, is because inside the burning car in Easterhouse are items of clothing, a black cagoule jacket, a snood, a pair of gloves. That all happen to have Willie Gage’s DNA, as well as firearm discharge residue FDR found on the jacket and snood. Wullie has never denied that he had the car, as buying and selling used cars was just one of his occupations after his release on license, that and tiling, his friends called him ‘Tiler’. It should be noted that there was also two other unknown DNA on the jacket and the snood. And according to Dr Lloyd a Home Office ballistic expert, there wasn’t sufficient FDR on these items to have warranted 6 shots. Another thing that struck us were witnesses saying he wore gloves, but there was no FDR on the gloves found in the car. Also the only witness to mention a SAAB was a Charles Beaumont , who stated, after saying it was a Volvo 440, when shown a picture weeks later of the SAAB, that it was similar. Not what we would call hard evidence.
However there was one prosecution witness, Steven Maddens, who the crown chose to damn his recollection when it suited them. But only parts of his testament suited their case. This began an all to frequent pattern, with a number of prosecution witnesses challenging the Advocate depute on the validity of the wording of what he was reading out of the their statements to the police, most often it was their second or third statement. Steven Maddens looked uncomfortable in the dock, and had to be reprimanded for his prevaricating to some of the Advocate Depute’s questions. But he saw the car, he also saw a guy about 5’10” with a bubble jacket, who he saw get into a white car, the car caught up due to roadwork’s. He stated in court that he saw the car in the rear view mirror, and he thought it was as either a Maestro or a Metro, he wasn’t sure. However, he was pretty sure about the registration. As he explained he worked as a deliveryman for a Chinese restaurant, and they used to play a game, which involved car registration numbers, and he was almost 100% sure it was a J-reg. The SAAB found in Easterhouse was an F-reg. He also saw the face of the gunman as he came up behind him in his mirror. He removed, what he described as a ski mask with cut out holes, he saw a man with short hair, and a baw face. William Gage is long, gaunt with hair half way down his back. When he was asked if he could see the man in court today, he refused to play along, and stated that no one in court resembled the man he saw sitting parked right behind him that night.
In his summon up the Advocate Depute dismissed Mr Maddens evidence, but recalled the widows’ evil eyes court identification. But, we don’t blame her, she was used. The woman was looking for closure, and probably believed that more evidence was going to show that this was her husband’s killer. Well it didn’t, nothing, zilch. There was no other evidence to put Willie Gage anywhere close to this brutal slaying. So why, did we have to keep asking ourselves is Willie Gage on trial? At times he must have thought he wandered in to the wrong court, because I know we did.
Willie’s legal team wanted to show that the man killed, had many enemies, and was a major player in the world of drugs. They called Detective Chief Superintendent Robert Lauder of the Scottish Drugs Enforcement Agency (D.E.A). That made us sit up. DCS Lauder had been asked by John MacAuley to run a check, to see if there was any connection, between William Gage and Justin McAlroy. DCS Lauder had been with the Scottish Drugs Enforcement Agency since 1999, with 34 years service, and would have had a wide knowledge of drug barons and their associates, yet could find no connection between the accused and the victim. William Gage didn’t register in the D.E.A. radar. But this led the Crown to the hit man theory, that usually hit men wouldn’t normally know their victims. But the second last witness for the defence, recalled hearing from below her bedroom window. A conversation that turned into an argument, before she heard a bang, that turned out to be the first shot. So according to the Crown the hit man had a quick chat with the victim before he shot him.
So with nothing but the crown’s theory, the defence called their third? witness Anne Ross, William Gage’s alibi. Anne Ross a 47 year-old, sales housing consultant, had known Willie for about a year. She knew about Willie’s girlfriend, who had no knowledge of her, she didn’t want a ‘heavy’ relationship. She had children to consider. So Willie never met the kids, it was a fun relationship. She also began keeping a diary after splitting with her husband a few years earlier. On the night of the killing the entry for the 7th March, was that, “T (Tiler) can’t make anniversary. Picked up at house, drive, blossom tree, houses, Hogshead then home”. When asked in court, she recalled getting picked up about 7.30/8ish, went a run along Great Western Road, up to Bowling, went to see a Blossom Tree, don’t ask, and up to a new housing state getting built (something to do with her work), up to Temple, left Hogshead at elevenish.
The Advocate Depute however began about asking about phones, and rattled off number after number. Then times of calls. He then switched, and asked Anne Ross to read out the entry for the 15th of February 2002. It read, Oceans Eleven, the Quay, home chatted to 1.30. The Advocate Depute then switched back to the phone records, and asked why was it that a mobile, that Wullie had been using, phoned her mobile at 20.53, if she was at the pictures at that time? We half expected him to go AH HA so there. She then said that she must have been mistaken about the time of the film, and that it must have been later. The Advocate Depute then accused Anne Ross, that she wasn’t mistaken about the time, but lying about the entries to the dairy, and lying to give William Gage an Alibi. She kept asking for what reason would she want to lie. This cinema slip up was brought up by the Advocate Depute in his summing up; it was also brought up by the court press association copy. The defence had no chance to counter this line of questioning, they didn’t have to prove he was innocent; it is the crown that has to prove he’s guilty. Which they clearly hadn’t.

Read more on :
http://www.mojoscotland.com/william_gage/william_gage2.html


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PostSubject: Re: William Gage   Wed Sep 03, 2008 9:23 pm

A MAN convicted of gunning down a gangster could walk free after new evidence shows he might not have been at the scene of the crime.

Career criminal William Gage was jailed for 20 years in 2002 for executing drug-dealer Justin McAlroy, son of Labour party donor and businessman Tommy McAlroy.

The prosecution pinned its case against Gage on a getaway car, a white Saab, which was later found burnt out.

Police claimed Gage had driven the Saab from the murder scene in Cambuslang, Lanarkshire, to Easterhouse, Glasgow - a route lined with 43 CCTV cameras.

At the trial, it was stated that CCTV footage from the route wasn't available.

But after his conviction a BBC documentary revealed that, in fact, there were some CCTV images - which showed no sign of the white Saab.

Now the tapes are being scrutinised by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC). Gage has always maintained his innocence. His solicitor Aamer Anwar said: "CCTV footage which is critical for Mr Gage's appeal is apparently now available.

"We're in the process of requesting it - and understand the SCCRC may have seen this footage. If it is indeed in existence I would hope this would prove Mr Gage's innocence.

"It would be impossible to have driven from Cambuslang to Easterhouse without the car showing up on one of the 43 CCTV cameras on that route."

Justin McAlroy had been under surveillance by the Scottish Drugs Enforcement Agency for more than a year before his death in March 2002.

The murder took place just days after he had attended a Labour fundraiser with First Minister Jack McConnell and other senior party members, including the then Health Secretary John Reid.

The event was one of the now infamous "Red Rose Dinners", which raised funds for McConnell and other Labour election campaigns from businessmen, including the building firm run by Tommy McAlroy.

It was claimed that Gage, 33, shot McAlroy, 28, five times outside his home in a row over a pounds 50,000 drug debt.

Gage, who lost an appeal last April, has always claimed he was the victim of mistaken identity and a cover-up.

Prosecutors insisted that the car tied Gage to the murder. But during the trial witnesses couldn't agree on the make of the vehicle. One said it was a Metro or Maestro, another as a white Volvo.

Witnesses described the killer as 5ft 10in with a round face and cropped hair. Gage is a 6ft 2in and had long hair at the time.

But it was the testimony of McAlroy's wife Tracy that damned Gage at his trial.

She insisted she would "never forget those eyes" when she pointed out Gage in court. Yet she initially told police she only "glimpsed" the killer as he ran from the shooting - and failed to mention his eyes. Witnesses, including Mrs McAlroy, said the killer had been wearing a padded jacket and that his face was covered.

But police later showed her a tailor's dummy with distinctive eyes dressed in the cagoule found in a burnt out car.

It was only then that she changed her description of the jacket - and mentioned the killer's eyes.

John McManus of the Miscarriages of Justice Organisation (MOJO), which is campaigning for Gage's release said: "This footage was, for some reason, witheld from the defence team.

"The only thing that linked Willie Gage to this whole crime was the so-called white Saab found in Easterhouse - and so-called witnesses saw a white car leave the scene of the murder.

"I'm hoping for the sake of justice the CCRC will send this case back to the appeal court.

"Willie Gage's life has been wasted in jail for a crime he didn't commit."

A spokesman for the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission confirmed it was investigating Gage's case - but refused to comment on the CCTV footage.

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PostSubject: Drug dealer killer hunt stepped up   Wed Sep 03, 2008 10:09 pm

Tuesday, 12 March, 2002,

Police have issued the description of a gunman who shot dead a drug dealer in a quiet Glasgow street.

Justin McAlroy, 30, was hit in the head and body as he got out of his 4x4 Mercedes outside his home in Acacia Way, Cambuslang, last Thursday night.

The killer is believed to have lain in wait for Mr McAlroy, whose wife Tracey is pregnant.

Detectives have confirmed that Mr McAlroy had a conviction from several years ago relating to the supply of drugs.

The suspect is said to be aged between 25 and 35, about 5ft 10ins tall and of medium build.

He was wearing a dark grey woollen hat and a distinctive dark brown thigh-length anorak with a zipper front and padded shoulders.

He had on dark jogging bottoms and black trainers and his face was covered with a black scarf.

There has been speculation that Mr McAlroy was murdered because he was attempting to build international drug contacts.

Mr McAlroy worked for his father's building firm, Ailsa Construction, in Lanarkshire.


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PostSubject: CCTV COULD CLEAR MAN JAILED FOR GANGSTER SLAYING   Wed Sep 03, 2008 10:11 pm

Sunday Mirror, Apr 1, 2007 by GILL SMITH

A MAN convicted of gunning down a gangster could walk free after new evidence shows he might not have been at the scene of the crime.

Career criminal William Gage was jailed for 20 years in 2002 for executing drug-dealer Justin McAlroy, son of Labour party donor and businessman Tommy McAlroy.

The prosecution pinned its case against Gage on a getaway car, a white Saab, which was later found burnt out.

Police claimed Gage had driven the Saab from the murder scene in Cambuslang, Lanarkshire, to Easterhouse, Glasgow - a route lined with 43 CCTV cameras.

At the trial, it was stated that CCTV footage from the route wasn't available.

But after his conviction a BBC documentary revealed that, in fact, there were some CCTV images - which showed no sign of the white Saab.

Now the tapes are being scrutinised by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC). Gage has always maintained his innocence. His solicitor Aamer Anwar said: "CCTV footage which is critical for Mr Gage's appeal is apparently now available.

"We're in the process of requesting it - and understand the SCCRC may have seen this footage. If it is indeed in existence I would hope this would prove Mr Gage's innocence.

"It would be impossible to have driven from Cambuslang to Easterhouse without the car showing up on one of the 43 CCTV cameras on that route."

Justin McAlroy had been under surveillance by the Scottish Drugs Enforcement Agency for more than a year before his death in March 2002.

The murder took place just days after he had attended a Labour fundraiser with First Minister Jack McConnell and other senior party members, including the then Health Secretary John Reid.

The event was one of the now infamous "Red Rose Dinners", which raised funds for McConnell and other Labour election campaigns from businessmen, including the building firm run by Tommy McAlroy.

It was claimed that Gage, 33, shot McAlroy, 28, five times outside his home in a row over a pounds 50,000 drug debt.

Gage, who lost an appeal last April, has always claimed he was the victim of mistaken identity and a cover-up.

Prosecutors insisted that the car tied Gage to the murder. But during the trial witnesses couldn't agree on the make of the vehicle. One said it was a Metro or Maestro, another as a white Volvo.

Witnesses described the killer as 5ft 10in with a round face and cropped hair. Gage is a 6ft 2in and had long hair at the time.

But it was the testimony of McAlroy's wife Tracy that damned Gage at his trial.

She insisted she would "never forget those eyes" when she pointed out Gage in court. Yet she initially told police she only "glimpsed" the killer as he ran from the shooting - and failed to mention his eyes. Witnesses, including Mrs McAlroy, said the killer had been wearing a padded jacket and that his face was covered.

But police later showed her a tailor's dummy with distinctive eyes dressed in the cagoule found in a burnt out car.

It was only then that she changed her description of the jacket - and mentioned the killer's eyes.

John McManus of the Miscarriages of Justice Organisation (MOJO), which is campaigning for Gage's release said: "This footage was, for some reason, witheld from the defence team.

"The only thing that linked Willie Gage to this whole crime was the so-called white Saab found in Easterhouse - and so-called witnesses saw a white car leave the scene of the murder.

"I'm hoping for the sake of justice the CCRC will send this case back to the appeal court.

"Willie Gage's life has been wasted in jail for a crime he didn't commit."

A spokesman for the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission confirmed it was investigating Gage's case - but refused to comment on the CCTV footage.

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PostSubject: Bid for fresh appeal over murder of drug dealer   Wed Sep 03, 2008 10:12 pm

August 06 2008



The man convicted of murdering Justin McAlroy, who was the son of a Labour Party donor and businessman, is seeking a fresh appeal with a dossier of new evidence.

William Gage, 36, was jailed for life and ordered to serve at least 20 years in 2004 for executing drug dealer Mr McAlroy, son of Tommy McAlroy.

Aamer Anwar, Gage's solicitor, has sent a 20-page document to the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission to ask it to refer the case back for a new appeal.
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The SCCRC provided an interim report last year, which fell short of sending it back to court.

In 2006, the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh rejected Gage's appeal.

But Mr Anwar said there was "fresh evidence in relation to an alibi" and serious flaws in relation to the CCTV evidence and eyewitness identification.

Alex Neil, the SNP MSP, has also written to the SCCRC to ask it to re-investigate and look at the new evidence, which he believes makes the case worthy of a fresh appeal.

It was claimed that Gage shot Mr McAlroy, 28, five times outside his home in a row over a £50,000 drug debt. Gage has protested his innocence since he was jailed, claiming he was a victim of mistaken identity.

The prosecution pinned its case against Gage on a getaway car, a white Saab, which was later found burned-out. Police claimed Gage had driven the Saab from the murder scene in Cambuslang, Lanarkshire, to Easterhouse, Glasgow, a route lined with 43 CCTV cameras.

At the trial, it was stated that CCTV footage from the route was not available. However, after his conviction it was revealed that, in fact, there were some CCTV images, which showed no sign of the white Saab.

Mr Anwar said: "There are flaws and inconsistencies in every strand of the evidence they presented. We cannot close the door on this until it has been fully re-investigated. I think the SCCRC does a fantastic job, but I have concerns about the fact it is seriously under-resourced.

"There is new evidence in the case, including an alibi for Gage at the time of the murder."

Mr Neil said: "The CCTV evidence alone should be sufficient to justify a referral for appeal. Indeed, the trial judge himself cast doubt on the wisdom of the murderer abandoning' the Saab when and where he did.

"William Gage is in danger of losing at least 20 years of his freedom. It is incumbent upon the commission to deal with this case professionally and in sufficient depth to provide him with another chance to prove that he was not guilty of this crime.

"There is more than enough reasonable doubt in the evidence presented or not presented to the trial jury to justify a referral back to the appeal court in this case."

A spokesman for the SCCRC said: "The review into that case is still ongoing."

Justin McAlroy had been under surveillance by the Scottish Drugs Enforcement Agency for more than a year before his death in 2002.

The murder took place just days after he had attended a Labour fundraiser with then First Minister Jack McConnell and other senior party members, including then Health Secretary John Reid.

The event was one of the now infamous Red Rose Dinners, which raised funds for Mr McConnell and other Labour election campaigns from businessmen, including the building firm run by Tommy McAlroy.
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PostSubject: Wishawgate exposes Labour's ugly side   Wed Sep 03, 2008 10:14 pm

Wishawgate exposes Labour's ugly side

Jack McConnell has fought to shake off allegations of financial impropriety and called personally for an investigation into how his constituency office was funded.

Published Date: 25 February 2003
By FRASER NELSON WESTMINSTER EDITOR
WISHAWGATE seemed a ludicrous name for it. Jack McConnell’s constituency party messed up their accounts; they apologised and no money disappeared. Where, it may be asked, is the scandal?
Yesterday’s verdict from the Electoral Commission - a slap on the hand for the Motherwell and Wishaw Constituency Labour Party - seemed to suggest a mild offence. Yet David Triesman, the Labour Party’s general secretary, is expecting the worst.

His memo last month predicted that Mr McConnell will pay a price at the polls. Once again, a trivial matter has exposed something far more ugly and dangerous: the nepotism, feuding, and favouritism which still stains the Scottish Labour Party.

Wishawgate started when, in October, leaked accounts of the party’s Motherwell and Wishaw branch showed a discrepancy of some £11,000. The constituency is shared by Mr McConnell and Frank Roy, its Westminster MP.

It also emerged that some of this money had been used to pay a hotel bill of Christina Marshall - then Mr McConnell’s personal assistant.

She was born into the Scottish Labour network through her father, David Marshall, MP for Glasgow Shettleston. She met Mr McConnell when they both worked for Beattie Media, the public relations company.

Ms Marshall, 25, had already hit the headlines. In 1999, she testified during the "Lobbygate" imbroglio where Mr McConnell was accused - and later cleared - of facilitating special access to ministers for Beattie Media’s clients.

Paying the accommodation of a party worker is, in itself, no great sin. But the Sun disclosed that Ms Marshall had been treated to the Caledonian Hotel, Edinburgh’s five-star finest, running up a £168 bill.

Here was the first damaging snapshot of Scottish Labour’s modus operandi. The bill was paid from a fund started by a trade union - which collects its cash from the working men and women Labour purports to represent.

Here, such funds were being creamed off so the party elite - and their acolytes - can upgrade to a five-star hotel rather than endure the hardship of a Travelodge. Hardly the socialist ideal.

Back in April last year, Mr McConnell was none too keen to elaborate on the missing money - even when it was discovered the First Minister failed to provide receipts for some £3,000 of expenditure.

The Motherwell and Wishaw auditor asked plenty questions. But, he later claimed, the responses from both Mr McConnell and Mr Roy were either "contradictory or failed to answer the questions".

This was why, in September, the auditor sent his concerns to John Smith House, home of the Scottish Labour Party, where Lesley Quinn, its general secretary, promised to investigate.

Now for the next twist. This upstanding auditor was one Hugh Mulholland, a local party activist who lost out to Mr Roy in the selection process for the safe seat of Motherwell and Wishaw for the 1997 election.

At the time, Mr McConnell was general secretary of Scottish Labour and vetting candidates. Mr Mulholland had been denied a sure ticket to Westminster; he had an axe to grind with both men.

Hence his passing on of the matter to Ms Quinn - and her statement that there would be an inquiry. So when the First Minister was questioned in the Scottish Parliament, he said the matter was being dealt with at headquarters.

In an eerie echo of the defence given by Henry McLeish during Officegate, he said: "I would do nothing, absolutely nothing, that would ever bring this parliament into disrepute."

The investigation, meanwhile, continued. Three funds had now come to light. The Development Fund account, started with a £5,000 donation from the salaries of members of the ISTC, a steel union. This was the one which paid for Ms Marshall’s hotel bill.

Then came the Motherwell and Wishaw Constituency Labour Party account, from which £11,000 was missing. There had been mysterious transactions between this and the Red Rose Dinner account - set up for a fundraising event attended by Mr McConnell.

This leads to the most fascinating event of the affair. The Red Rose Dinner is a rum affair. Last year, it saw Mr McConnell and Mr Roy joined by luminaries such as John Reid, then Northern Ireland Secretary.

And the host of the dinner? A convicted drug dealer named Justin McAlroy who was being investigated for his links to the Russian mafia. Six days after the dinner, he was shot dead outside his home in Cambuslang.

His father was Tommy McAlroy, the part-owner of Dalziel Park Golf and Country Club - which donated six months’ membership to Mr J McConnell.

The First Minister was, unsurprisingly, cleared of any wrongdoing by Ms Quinn’s probe. In a letter to Sir David Steel, he further blamed a "lack of communication" between Mr Mulholland and the former treasurer of his constituency.

This brings in the final character: Elizabeth Wilson, who was later accused of taking the funds for herself. And where was all this money deposited? Step forward North Lanarkshire Municipal Bank, run by Labour councillors, including Mrs Wilson’s husband. So close is the network that these people have set up their own banks.

This Scottish Labour structure was seen during the McLeish fiasco when it emerged he had let one of his offices to Digby Brown, a firm of lawyers which chases injury claims for trade unions and seemed to be hand-in-glove with the party. Former employees of this tiny firm include Douglas Alexander, now a Cabinet Office minister and Brian Fitzpatrick MSP . So it goes on.

Wishawgate again opened the lid on the bizarre clan system which is behind Scottish Labour - giving a snapshot which Scots voters may find deeply unappealing when asked whom should represent their country.

Originally, no-one would believe that bungled office lets could bring down a first minister. But offices were not the issue then, in the same way that the dodgy accounts is not the issue now. Mr McLeish fell because he was a spider, not the fly caught in the web of Scottish Labour. The Wishawgate affair, like Officegate, Lobbygate and Monklands before it, simply exposes the system which has always existed under this political establishment.

Each of these scandals lifts up a garden stone, underneath which unpleasantness is found to be crawling. This is the purpose of devolution - to let Scots see for themselves the people who have been governing their country for decades.

In May, for the first time, Scots will be able to vote on whether they like what they see. And this is why the Wishawgate, and yesterday’s findings, can be such a danger to Mr McConnell.

Voters do not care if a witless Lanarkshire accountant messed up. They do care if devolution has meant passing power to a small cadre of council hall stooges now forming a coalition with Scotland’s vested interests.

The question now is whether the Scottish National Party can exploit all this in time for election day, given that they have promised not to engage in negative campaigning.

The garden stone has, once again, been lifted by Wishawgate.

There is much to be gained in asking voters to come take a look at what lies underneath Scottish Labour.
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PostSubject: New evidence casts shadow of doubt over conviction in notorious murder case   Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:50 am

Conflicting testimony and claims of police pressure revealed in drug baron’s murder


NEW EVIDENCE which calls into question one of Scotland's most notorious murder convictions has been uncovered by a Sunday Herald investigation.

Drug baron Justin McAlroy was gunned down on his driveway in Glasgow's Cambuslang only six days after wining and dining Labour VIPs Jack McConnell and John Reid at a dinner to raise funds for the party in 2002.

Second-hand car dealer William Gage was jailed for life in 2004 when three eyewitnesses told a jury they saw a white getaway vehicle leaving the scene. A similar vehicle was later found in Glasgow's Easterhouse, partly burnt out, with Gage's DNA and firearms residue on clothes left inside.

But the Sunday Herald has discovered that vital evidence - including allegations of police pressure which could have collapsed the trial - was withheld from the jury.

The Miscarriages of Justice Organisation said it would now be making a fresh submission to the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission in a bid to get the conviction quashed.

Organiser John McManus said: "We always knew there were very serious doubts hanging over this case. Now it seems there is perhaps something more sinister."

Gage sensationally sacked his legal team in the middle of an appeal hearing. It was too late for his new lawyers to enter fresh arguments.

But it was during that failed appeal last year that the Crown admitted that the evidence of three eyewitnesses - Charles Bowman, Stephen Madden and Agnes Edgar - was crucial to the conviction. Without their testimony there is nothing to link the white Saab and Gage's DNA in Easterhouse to the murder scene in Cambuslang.

At the original trial, Madden and Edgar claimed to have been driving together past a building site near the murder scene when they saw a man running towards the getaway car.

Madden recalled one of the vehicle's headlights was broken and the other on full. The white car then followed them 100 yards to Newton Station railway bridge where both cars stopped to let another pass through the narrow tunnel.

But his testimony is starkly at odds with evidence given by Bowman, the third eyewitness. Bowman - a security guard at the building site - insisted the white car had driven under the bridge at high speed, without stopping and with no headlights on at all.

The differing statements show that at least one of the two parties must have given inaccurate information.

On the night of March 7, 2002, Bowman was the sole guard on duty when the killer struck. Two colleagues had warned that he could not possibly be right - yet their evidence was never put before the jury.

In a defence statement, site foreman Fraser Cathcart said: "I would be very, very surprised if anyone could see very much in Newton Station Road from the window.

"First, you would have to bend over the desk and you could see only the top half of Newton Station Road towards the roundabout and then only a very small part of it anyway.

"You would be able only to see the east side of Newton Station Road."

Bowman claimed the white car was on the west side.

Site joiner James McKinlay - in a defence precognition - also insisted the view was obstructed. But even more damning were his accounts of long lunchtime conversations he had with his friend Bowman.

McKinlay recalled: "Charlie would often talk to me about it ... The gist of what he told me was that, basically, he had seen very little and heard only the screech of tyres. He went to the front window to look but could only see the rear of a motor vehicle.

"He told me that the police were trying to put a bit of pressure' on him to say that what he had seen was a white car but he did say that what he had seen was definitely not a white car that the police had suggested.

"Also, he said that he had had a few cans' that night and that his memory was unsure.

"Charlie had had a number of citations to attend court in relation to the matter and always during such periods the conversation would come back to the case again and what he had seen that night."


Edgar told the court she had been in the passenger seat of Madden's Renault Laguna when she saw the white car and a man running towards it, something she had repeatedly told the police in two statements to detectives.

But away from the murder squad interview room, the 15-year-old had a different story to tell. As far back as August 2002, the troubled youngster was complaining of police intimidation.

In a statement given to Gage's original legal team, Edgar - who was receiving psychiatric counselling at the time of her interview by detectives - insisted: "I cannot recall what type or colour of the car sic.

"I have been interviewed a couple of times by the police ... I was given a hard time by them. I have tried to forget what happened and to put it behind me."

ON the stand, Edgar claimed that the police had tampered with her statement regarding the killer's clothing. She told the court: "I only signed that statement so I could get away because I was in really bad pain and I don't believe that an officer could actually keep a 15-year-old girl in so much pain in an interview room.

"I'm sorry but I don't like to be ... told that I can't have a psychiatrist or a social worker when I need it."


The final piece of evidence casting doubt on Gage's murder conviction relates to Madden's description of the getaway car. The takeaway delivery driver was adamant the getaway vehicle's left headlight was broken, but, according to two separate tests carried out in the days after the murder by three detectives and a specialist Saab mechanic, the headlights were in full working order.

This vital evidence shows that either Madden's testimony was seriously flawed or, if correct, it was a completely different car that was found in Easterhouse. Whichever is the case, Gage's conviction would seem untenable.

McAlroy was murdered six days after a Red Rose Dinner event hosted by his father Tommy, a Labour Party donor in McConnell's Motherwell and Wishaw constituency.

Gage, 34, was arrested two months after the killing and was later jailed for life with a minimum tariff of 20 years.
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PostSubject: Re: William Gage   Sat Sep 13, 2008 12:57 pm

Reading this case it struck me how very similar Tracy McAlroy's statement is to that of another woman named Tracie ... who went on national TV crying, sat alongside her dead boyfriend's mother to appeal for witnesses ... and described the "evil eyes" of a man, who she alleged, murdered her b/friend in front of her ... beside their car .. in a secluded lane in the Birmingham area.

This woman was subsequently charged and convicted of the murder.

I will do a google search and post a link to this case ... maybe some of you remember it ?

I mind specifically that her testimony was discredited by an expert because the particular language she used describing the attack was shown to be something she did not experience.


Edited to include link.
Tracie Andrews released in June 2008.

http://icbirmingham.icnetwork.co.uk/mail/news/2008/06/09/outcry-as-killer-tracie-andrews-is-let-out-of-jail-97319-21044903/
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